This week, ACOG led a letter from frontline physician societies to the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging an immediate internal investigation of complaints filed by a whistleblower. The complaints allege high rates of hysterectomy procedures on detained persons held in ICE custody, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and denial of access to medical care.
Our letter cites ACOG Committee Opinion 695, Sterilization of Women: Ethical Issues and Considerations, which clearly states that coercive or forcible sterilization practices are unethical and should never be performed, and highlights our organizations’ previously raised concerns with conditions in immigration detention facilities that often fail to ensure access to health care that meets guideline-based standards.
The letter further urges the agencies to investigate incidents of alleged medical abuse and neglect in other detention facilities. This follows a letter sent from ACOG CEO Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, FACOG, to the inspector general of DHS urging a swift and thorough investigation of the complaints.